Clinical activitiesTeaching and training | Resources


Consultants: Assoc
Professor Alan Davidson
  Dr Marc Hendricks
  Dr Ann van Eyssen
Senior Registrars: Joyce Balagadde-Kambugu  (APFP)
Lawrence Osei-Tutu (APFP)


Medical Officers: Dr Wendy Mathiassen
  Dr Nan Nicholson
Location: The National Lotteries Board Oncology Unit (Ward G1)


Contact Numbers: ONCOLOGY UNIT SECRETARY 021-658-5297







Clinical Activities

Paediatric haematology/oncology service

  • Red Cross Children’s Hospital is the largest children’s hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa. It provides all levels of multidisciplinary care at an international level whilst taking into account the limitations of being located in a resource poor country.

  • The haematology part of the service sees rare and complex diseases (congenital bleeding disorders, complex anaemias, inherited haemolytic anaemias and haematologic conditions associated with systemic diseases).

  • The oncology part of the service manages all childhood cancers including brain tumours, Wilms’ and other solid tumours, lymphomas and leukaemias. Approximately 100 newly diagnosed patients are treated annually.

  • The vision and mission of the haematology/oncology service is to provide the best possible care for all children with cancer. We follow internationally accepted guidelines and protocols currently in use in the developed world. Handling the additional problems of infection (including HIV and Tuberculosis), malnutrition and late presentation prevalent in underdeveloped countries forms a particular focus of our work.

  • The Service is directed towards building and expanding capacity to manage both complex haematologic disorders and malignancy in children, including those from vulnerable populations affected by the neglected diseases of poverty.

  • The emergence of HIV related malignancies and their management has resulted in the design of new protocols based on the availability of antiretroviral therapy.

  • The service operates in the region of 20 clinics a month, with more than 6000 clinic visits and 1800 admissions a year

  • There are 17 dedicated paediatric haematology/oncology beds and we provide opinions on patients being managed on the “general wards” in this hospital system and by paediatricians and oncologists from further afield.

  • An outreach service operates with regional specialist visits for both training and case assessment.

  • The service assists with establishing national guidelines for the management of paediatric cancer and haemophilia.

Teaching and training

South African Training Centre

  • Currently one of five centres in South Africa with a dedicated paediatric oncology training post.
  • The post follows international training guidelines.
  • To date four South African trainees have completed training. The fifth will complete his training in January 2015. Two Ugandan and 1 Ghanaian paediatricians have completed year long haem-onc fellowships under the auspices of the African Paediatric Fellowship Programme. We are currently training a Malawian paediatrician and in 2015 will be joined by  a further 2 trainees from Ghana.

  • The team regards training as an essential way to improve care to children with haematologic and malignant conditions. We are keen to set up links with other centres throughout Africa and to offer training experiences either through attachments to our department or through invited training workshops.

Oncology Unit timetable

Day Time Description Venue
Monday 10:00 Oncology Clinic S27
  12:00 Folder meeting to discuss clinic patients  
  14:00 Grand Round  
  16:00 Cure4Kids Telemedicine Outreach Meeting  
Tuesday 07:30 Combined Paediatric Neuroimaging Meeting  
  08:00 Surgical Forum  
  09:00 Combined Oncology Meeting with Surgeons,
Pathologists and Radiotherapists
  10:00 Haematology Clinic  
  11.30 Ward Round  
  12:00 Combined  Sub-speciality Case Presentations E2
  16:00 Afternoon Round  
Wednesday 08:00 Department Clinical Meeting D3 LT
  11:00 Long Time Follow Up Oncology Clinic  
  12:30 Ward Round  
  13:00 Academic afternoon for Haem/Onc Trainees. Haem/Onc Tutorial for rotating registrar (on call
  16:00 Afternoon Round  
Thursday 10:30 Oncology Clinic  
  12:00 Folder meeting to discuss clinic patients  
  12:30 Ward Round  
  13:00 Pathology Meeting  
  13:30 Postgraduate Teaching Afternoon ICH
  16:00 Afternoon Round  
Friday 08:15 Journal Club G1
  10:00 Grand Round  
  10:00 Combined Brain Tumour Clinic at GSH (monthly at 10h00)
LE 32 GSH (Last Friday of every month)
  12:00 Case Presentations D3
  13:30 Psychosocial Meeting (monthly at 15h00)  
  16:00 Afternoon Round  

Childhood cancer information resources

There are many excellent resources providing information on childhood cancer.

If you are a physician who has referred a patient to a Paediatric Oncology Centre, and are involved in counselling the family or continuing care, here are some websites that will provide you with background information on diagnosis, treatment and long-term complications.

There are also many useful sites with information for families of children with cancer.



South African Children's Cancer Study Group (South Africa)

South African physicians involved in the treatment of children with cancer.




South African Stem Cell Transplantation Society

the newly formed South African Stem Cell Transplantation Society (SA SCeTS ) is a scientific and educational non-profit organization aiming to bring together haematologists, oncologist, physicians, scientists, nurses, technologists and medical administrators with an interest in and/or involved in the teaching, research, practice and promotion of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.




CHOC (South Africa)

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation is a national voluntary organisation. It brings together the parents of children who suffer from all varieties of cancer or life threatening blood disorders. Funds raised directly benefit the children and their families, and also those involved in the treatment of these illnesses. The goal of this group is to improve the welfare and quality of care for children with cancer. 

The organisation provides practical help to children with cancer, recognising the disruption to family life when a child faces intensive and often lengthy treatment. The name CHOC (an abbreviation of “Children’s Haematology Oncology Clinics”) was used by the first local parent group, established in 1979. In 2000 a new national organisation was formed, linking parent groups in all parts of the country.


National Cancer Institute


National Cancer Institute (United States)

Childhood Cancer home page of the National Cancer Institute

Young People with Cancer: A Handbook for Parents

Care for Children and Adolescents With Cancer: Questions and Answers


St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital


Cure-4-Kids (United States)

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee has been at the forefront of research into and treatment of paediatric malignancy since the 1960s. St. Jude’s helped to pioneer the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and has a well-established outreach programme.




Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (United Kingdom)

The CCLG is a national professional body responsible for the organisation of the treatment and management of children with cancer in the UK. The Group's main remit is the coordination of national and international clinical trials. Other areas of activity include national cancer registration and provision of information for patients and families. 

If you are looking for resources to help families affected by cancer in children and young people then is a very useful place to start. The resources are aimed not just at parents of young people with cancer but at siblings, grandparents and other family members, indeed anyone with an interest in childhood cancer. The website is an offshoot of the CCLG site.




Cancerbackup (United Kingdom)

Cancerbackup is Europe's leading cancer information charity.

The children's cancers information centre can be found at …


BC Cancer Agency


BC Cancer Agency (Canada)

The BC Cancer Agency, an initiative of the Provincial Health Service of British Columbia, is a website devoted to all aspects of cancer, and provides comprehensive information and resources for heath professionals and survivors.




International Paediatric Oncology Society (SIOP)

SIOP is the major global organisation dedicated to childhood cancer. For the past 35 years it has brought together doctors of many different disciplines in an effort to improve survival. In recent years nurses have become involved, and an alliance has been developed with parents and their complementary organisation ICCPPO.

At the outset 75% of children with cancer died, but now, with the best treatment, 75% can be cured. However, only a minority of sufferers have access to the incredible advances that have been made over the lifetime of SIOP. There are many parts of the world where few, if any, children have access to the best, or even limited treatment. SIOP’s mission is to bring the best possible care for children with cancer to the farthest corners of the globe.





International Confederation Of Childhood Cancer Organisations

ICCCPO was founded in May 1994 in Valencia, Spain. ICCCPO is a worldwide network of organisations of parents of children with cancer.  The web site is intended to be a major resource for parent organisations and individuals.



South African Stem Cell Transplantation Society




The World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH)

The World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with hemophilia and related bleeding disorders.
Since it was established in 1963, the WFH has grown into a truly global network with member organizations in more than 100 countries and official recognition from the World Health Organization.

Haemophilia Information Resources

There are many excellent resources providing information about haemophilia


haemophilia in pictures


Haemophilia management guidelines


These are among the many resources offered on the WFH website